Junior Academy gets set to kick off season 2023!

The City football isn’t stopping anytime soon as our Junior Academy squads prepare to kick off their season this weekend!

Last Sunday saw their season launch at AAMI Park, with our whole Junior Academy brought together to celebrate the beginning of the season.

Players, parents and staff were all in attendance to hear from guest speakers before taking in the action from our Senior Men’s draw with Adelaide United.

The junior squads have been training since November in what has been a big pre-season with 11 friendlies played over that period.

Melbourne City Academy Manager, Simon Zappia, said he was excited with where the squads are at heading into the new season.

“We have some very exciting talent across all age groups and the players are extremely driven to get better each and every day,” Zappia said.

“Our coaching group, who the majority are now full time, has been stable over the past couple of years which allows our processes across the phases to be as clear as ever in terms of how we want our teams to play and how we look to develop the individuals within that.”

This season’s squads sees more of a presence of the Melbourne City Football School than ever before, with over 75% of the U14 squad – and over 50% of players across the whole Junior Academy – having come through the program.

These numbers are made even more significant given the fact that CFS has only been running since mid-2019.

Another feature of City’s Junior Academy squads continues to be a large number – over 70% of players – playing an age group above their eligibility.

“We will continue to deliberately challenge players and reinforce the message that at this age, it is not necessarily about winning or losing,” Zappia said, “Our end goal always remains the same and that is to develop as many professional footballers as possible who are City identifiable.”

“We always have the long-term goal in mind, rather than any short-term results.

“I think the recent success of our Academy graduates who are playing in World Cups, top European leagues and of course helping contribute to titles for our first team in the A-League Men’s allow our Academy families to really understand what we are trying to achieve.”

While the A-Leagues seasons are now at the halfway mark, there’s still going to plenty of City football to keep your eyes on throughout 2023 once those wrap up.

“I’d certainly encourage City fans to get down and watch some of younger age groups play.

“I think they’d be amazed with how our style of play transfers through the whole club,” Zappia said.

2023 Junior Academy Squads

Under 14’s

Under 15’s

Under 16’s

Under 18’s